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Sustainable dyke reinforcement: emission-free and innovative through unique collaboration

27 August 2020, Rotterdam, the Netherlands - In the coming years, the dyke along the Dutch River Lek will be reinforced over a length of 55 kilometres from Amerongen to Schoonhoven. The large scale of the project and the ambitious goals of the responsible De Stichtse Rijnlanden Water Board mean that innovation will be necessary. The Water Board has therefore opted for the Innovation Partnership approach to tendering, which involves close collaboration with three Innovation Partners:  Van Oord, Mourik Infra and the consortium Heijmans Infra – GMB Civiel – de Vries & van de Wiel (the Lek ensemble). The collaboration started with the signing of the collaboration agreement on 26 August.

News release Rijkswaterstaat

High ambitions for reinforcing the Lek Dyke

The safety standards for the Netherlands’ vital river dykes were tightened up in 2017. The Lek Dyke is one that needs to be reinforced. The work is part of the Netherlands’ Flood Protection Programme. This is the biggest dyke reinforcement operation since the Delta Works, involving more than 1,300 kilometres of dyke reinforcement over the next 30 years. The Water Board ensures the safety of the dykes, but it also has high ambitions regarding sustainability and innovation, ambitions that can be achieved with an Innovation Partnership. The signing of the cooperation agreement marks the start of the unique partnership between the Water Board and the Innovation Partners.

Collaboration for large-scale innovation

Collaboration is a mainstay of the Innovation Partnership approach, and takes place at three levels: innovation, the actual process, and the social level. This allows innovations to be developed fully on a large scale, with the parties involved learning from one another across the various subprojects of the Strong Lek Dyke project. The Innovation Partners have a wide range of dyke reinforcement innovations available. In the coming period, studies will take place to determine which are the best ones to implement.

Emission-free dyke reinforcement

All three partners share the Water Board’s sustainability goal of reinforcing the Lek Dyke in a smart and emission-free manner. In this way, the project aims to demonstrate that it is possible to work sustainably on a large scale.

Award Strong Lek Dyke project

The contract for the Strong Lek Dyke project has now been awarded. As a result, the Innovation Partners Van Oord, Mourik Infra, and the consortium Heijmans Infra - GMB Civiel - de Vries & van de Wiel (the Lek Ensemble) are now all ‘on board’. It is only with cooperation and the courage to do new things that innovations can be rolled out on a large scale. The partners are joining  in the plan development phase and will form a joint team with the Water Board.

The Flood Protection Programme

The Strong Lek Dyke project forms part of the Netherlands’ Flood Protection Programme. This involves the various water management authorities and the Department of Public Works and Water Management collaborating on the biggest dyke reinforcement operation since the Delta Works. At least 1,300 kilometres of dykes and 500 sluices and pumping stations will be reinforced over the course of the next thirty years. In this way we are working to make the Netherlands a country where people can live, work, and relax safe from the danger of flooding.

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